New York’s Abortion Law is often misrepresented


Maddie Weekely '21

Graphic by Maddie Weekley ’21.

Maddie Weekley '21, Staff Writer

Pro-choice vs pro-life, one of the most common controversies in our modern world. On January 22, 2019, a New York abortion law was passed, legalizing abortions after 24 weeks. Not long after, social media erupted with debate on both sides of the argument, leaving the actual facts of the law to be swept under the rug.

When the law was first passed, I didn’t expect to see any posts about it on my personal Instagram feed since the people I follow don’t regularly comment on political issues. However, my expectations were proven wrong when my phone erupted with upset members of the pro-life community who placed this new law in the same category as murder.

Although I am pro-choice, I still completely respect the opinions of people who are pro-life and I’m okay with them posting their beliefs on social media. However, what I am not okay with, is instances where people only tell the side of the truth that benefits their argument. I found this to happen quite often in posts regarding the new abortion law when people would leave out the detail that fetuses can be aborted after 24 weeks only if the mother’s health is in danger or if the fetus is nonviable.

For me, this detail is huge because it shuts down a large number of arguments made by the pro-life community. They claim this law is similar to murder without addressing that the fetuses affected by this law would die outside of their mother’s womb. Therefore, this situation is not the brutal killing of healthy babies that it’s been made out to be, but rather the decision of a mother to save her baby from the pain that would come with their inevitable death.

Additionally, I’ve heard pro-life supporters say the abortion law encourages women with healthy pregnancies to receive late-term abortions without meeting the necessary legal requirements. I don’t find this point to be valid because there’s no logical reason a woman would choose to endanger her own health by waiting to have an illegal abortion when she has the option for a safer and legal abortion earlier in her pregnancy. Having an abortion during the third trimester is much more dangerous to a woman’s health than if she were to have one in her first or second trimester according to the Boulder Abortion Clinic. I also find it important to note that late-term abortions are very uncommon with only 1.3 percent of abortions occurring at 21 weeks or later according to the Guttmacher Institute.

President Donald Trump also failed to point out the details of New York’s abortion law during the State of Union Address when he stated the new legislation would “allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth”. I believe he purposely didn’t address the requirements to have a late-term abortion in order to make the law sound barbaric and inhumane to his listeners. The reasoning behind the late-term abortion law remained absent throughout his entire speech to make the law seem cruel when in reality it is beneficial to a plethora of people under a variety of circumstances.

With any controversial topic in the media, I find it extremely important to do research before forming an opinion. That way, I can see the situation from multiple perspectives before deciding on my own. In the case of the New York’s abortion law, not enough people did their research, which allowed the media to report on only certain aspects of the story that benefited the pro-life argument. It’s important to have an opinion, however it’s even more important to make sure your opinion is formed on the basis of all facts instead of only those that benefit your argument.